Playing Safely Since Day One with Eco-Friendly Toys
Children have to play just like they need to eat and sleep. It’s pivotal for their overall well-being and development, so it is our obligation as parents to provide more playing opportunities. And since we want the best for them, a great number of today’s parents are turning to Eco-friendly toys. Although the older the kids, the harder it is to forbid them to play with toxic toys, parents have the power to control the toys’ origin to a certain extent. The early years are the most important period as this is when babies first come to this world and get to know it. So, it would be a shame to expose our little bundles of joy to something so dangerous like plastic toxic toys. In fact, there is a long list of products which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has banned for this purpose.
For those who wonder when do babies start needing toys or when will a baby be able to grab one, the answer is – around 3 months. This, in fact, is the same age when babies start responding to a smile with a smile and start opening and shutting their fists. So, this is the period when they are ready to meet with their first toys – rattles and soft toys, so the best option for the purpose are Eco-friendly toys. But, what exactly are they? What makes them better than plastic ones?
As the name implies, Eco-friendly toys are better for the environment in many ways. They can be recycled and are either made from materials that will break down over time or natural materials sourced in a sustainable way. Out of all these things, the best part is that more and more environmentally friendly toys are now being made with organic materials and non-toxic paints. This makes such toys one-of-a-kind, a true keeper. These toys are not only safe for the environment but for the little ones as well. Out of all available types, the organic cotton and wooden toys are the best and safest option parents have, and the reasons for this are many.
When babies start to hold toys in their hands, the first thing they do (after observing them of course) is putting them in their mouths. In fact, it has been said that tasting baby toys is one of the ways through which babies learn more about the world around them, so making sure that they are safe is paramount. Wood and organic cotton seem like the safest option on the market, unlike plastic toys which are treated with lots of chemicals like propylene, dangerous fire-retardant chemicals and asbestos which is a cancer-causing mineral. Lead is also a common part of mass-produced toys and it is used to make their paint/colour more durable. In other words, this is a neurotoxin which is extremely dangerous to the young and still developing brains.
Wood and organic cotton can be used by babies since day one, as they are not treated with any chemical. Usually, beech hardwood is the most commonly used type of wood for the creation of teethers and rattle baby toys as it’s anti-bacterial, splinter-free and 100% biodegradable material. Organic cotton, on the other hand, is also anti-bacterial, durable, comfortable and hypoallergenic which makes it ideal for the most sensitive baby skin.
Now, if we look back to the mass-produced rattles and teethers, the ones made from PVC vinyl are the most available ones. The reason for this is because this plastic is cheaper to produce, so the price of the final product is lower as well. Regardless of this, the hurtful truth is that this plastic is alarming for use at any age. According to experts, PVC vinyl is a hormone disrupter and cancerous. What’s more, the toxins that end up in babies’ little mouths can be pretty dangerous, and if they come in touch with the saliva, these toys can lead to dermatitis and eczema which is an autoimmune disease.
How Do You Clean Baby Toys Made of These Materials?
Organic cotton toys can be machine washed, which makes their care extremely easy. When talking about carefully designed and quality organic cotton toys, manufacturers state that they can be washed as many times as needed. Wooden toys, on the other hand, can be wipe cleaned with a damp cloth and a natural solution. Usually, manufacturers recommend cleaning them with white vinegar, apple cider or some non-toxic and natural multi-purpose cleaner. All of these solutions need to be diluted with water so they don’t damage the wood. Once done, they need to be wiped with a clean cloth and left to dry in the sun.
- Prolonged exposure to sun or strong sunlight can lead to colour fading.
- Don’t soak or immerse them in water as this can cause the toys to swell and change their shape.